Churches in Korea – 11 Beautiful Worship Place For Foreigners!
From ancient cathedrals to modern-day shrines, South Korea’s churches are doors to a rich cultural past. Take this tour of the 11 must-see churches in Korea for foreigners that are very tourist- friendly and explore centuries of history, from giant cathedral towers reaching the sky to quiet small intimate church.
Note: Some of these church offers english service for foreigner who want to keep connected with God in Korea. However, make sure to check on their website first!
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Churches in Korea
Whether you are in Seoul, Busan, Jeonju or Daegu, Korea offers tons of wonderful worship place where you can connect to God during your travel in south korea. Here are some of the list of foreigner friendly and wonderful churches in korea you can visit.
Note: Beware there are a tons of christian occult in Korea! They will approach you on the street and invite you to their community. The preacher usually claim himself as the messiah or second coming of Jesus.
1. Yeoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul
Yeoido Full Gospel Church is a church located in Yeouido, next to National Assembly and Han river park in Seoul, South Korea. This church is the largest Pentecostal church in the world with a capacity of over 800,000 people. It was founded in 1958 by Pastor David Yonggi Cho and is affiliated with the Assemblies of God. The church has become known for its massive evangelistic campaigns and its use of modern technology during its services which are broadcasted on television and radio.
Moreover, it runs several charitable endeavors such as a hospital and university. Pastor David Yonggi Cho has generated a lot of attention for his extensive writings on theology and leadership as well as his Prosperity Gospel teachings which some have criticized. Despite the controversy surrounding Cho’s views, Yeoido Full Gospel Church continues to be one of the most influential churches in all of South Korea even after his passing away in 2021 at 85 years old.
2. Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul
Myeongdong Cathedral is a well-known Roman Catholic church located in the midst of shopping center in Seoul, Myeongdong areas. It is one of the most famous churches in town, known for it’s neo gothic style structure and offers a capacity up to 10,000 people.
This church was built back then in 1898, designed by french missionaries and became the first gothic style church in Korea. It currently serve as an important cultural landmark in the capital city of Korea other than as catholic church.
More than worship services, Myeongdong Cathedral also offers bible studies, retreats, and youth groups to its large congregation. Its bell tower can be seen from many parts of Seoul!
3. Onnuri Church in Seoul
Onnuri Church is a multi-lingual, multi-generational church in two locations: near Seobinggo Station (Gyeongui Jungang Line) in Yonsan-gu, Seoul, and in Yangjae in Seocho-gu. This church also offers multi language translation service on their sunday service.
4. Sungrak Church in Seoul
Sungrak Church is an independent church that is not belong to any denomination located in Guro district near sindorim station in Seoul. This baptist church offers multi language translation for their sunday service. You can easily get to this church by taking subway line 1 exit 1 in Sindorim station.
5. Jeondong Catholic Cathedral in Jeonju
Jeonju’s Jeondong Catholic Cathedral is widely regarded as the most aesthetically beautiful church in South Korea. Crafted by Priest Poinel, this Romanesque building was the initial implementation of its architectural style in the Honam region and was constructed in 1914 to honor Roman Catholic martyrs executed on-site during Korea’s Joseon Dynasty.
The cathedral features a combination of Byzantine and arched ceilings, with three bell towers atop its rectangular structure. This landmark has since become a popular backdrop for Korean dramas and films, drawing crowds of both religious pilgrims and curious tourists alike.
6. Gyesan Catholic Church in Daegu
The Gyesan Catholic Church in Daegu is an impressive part of the city’s history. It was built in 1899 and unfortunately had to be subsequently rebuilt due to a fire, but was renovated and completed in 1902 with imported stained glass and galvanized iron from France and Hong Kong.
This unique church incorporating both Romanesque and Gothic architectural elements, and stands as the only remaining structure in Daegu from the early 1900s. It is definitely one of the most beautiful buildings in Daegu that has stood the test of time.
7. Seoul Anglican Cathedral
The Anglican Church of Korea traces its origins to 1890 when the first service of Holy Communion was celebrated in Seoul. One of the most iconic churches associated with this faith is the Seoul Anglican Cathedral, which was constructed near Deoksugung Palace during the Japanese colonial era.
The Seoul Anglican Cathedral is a beautiful cathedral with an architecture reminiscent of European churches. It is conveniently located next to the British Embassy and near City Hall Station (lines 2 & 1, exit 3). Worshipers can attend Sunday Service with Holy Communion every week and also visit from Monday through Saturday.
8. Chung Dong First Methodist Church in Seoul
The Chung Dong church was established by Henry Gerhard Appenzeller, an American missionary, in 1887 under the name Bethel and became an official church three years later.
As more and more worshippers joined, Chungdong underwent a renovation in 1926 that changed it from a cross-shaped building to a square one, built with bricks so as not to damage the original structure. It features a simplified version of an American gothic style house with distinct arched window frames – making it the last remaining 19th century church building in Korea.
Chung Dong First Methodist Church is an English-speaking place of worship located in Seoul, not far from the iconic Deoksugung Palace. On Sundays, worshippers can enjoy a Contemporary Worship, a “vibrant” Traditional Worship and even a Kid’s Worship.
In addition to these weekly gatherings, Chung Dong also offers ministries such as a youth ministry, bible study sessions, Shalom Choir & Trio and CATS (Chungdong Academy for Theological and Spiritual Formation), among others. For more info about this vibrant church community, visit their website.
9. Ilsan Catholic Church In Goyang
Ilsan Catholic Church, a stunning red-roofed church located in Goyang City, Korea, stands tall against the skyline. Thoroughly modern, yet with an unmistakably Korean architectural style and built in 2003, its spires reach toward the heavens. Inside its grounds are ornamental gardens and benches with biblical references inscribed throughout. Additionally, visitors can find sculptures that honor Catholicism’s rich history in Korea and the contributions it has made to the country’s religious landscape.
10. Seoul Union Church
Seoul Union Church, located in the School of Theology (신학관) Seminary Chapel on Yonsei University’s campus, offers services to English-speaking visitors such as Sunday mass, praise team performances, arts in worship activities and Christian education.
This church is open not only to the university’s students but also to all members of the public, as well as children.
11. Namcheon Cathedral of the Holy Cross In Busan
Namcheon Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Busan is one of Korea’s most striking churches. The exterior may seem unassuming, but the interior is breathtaking, boasting an asymmetrical stained glass wall illuminating the church with colorful hues. During Christmas season, it is made even more beautiful by elegant decorations and décor, making it a must-see for anyone interested in visiting churches in Korea.
Christianity In Korea
Since the 1960s, Christianity in South Korea has grown steadily, making it one of the countries with the highest proportion of Christians per capita.
This rapid growth can likely be attributed to several factors, such as Christian churches’ offering of hope and salvation during difficult times, emphasizing education and hard work. This factors resonated with citizens looking to improve their economic circumstances, and its hierarchical structure that was appealing to a culture that values authority and respect.
Currently, over 30% of South Korea’s population is Christian with the majority Protestant but with a notable Catholic minority. In addition, some christian cult also have become immensely popular, you need to beware of it. If you are interested in exploring and visiting churches in Korea, you can visit some of these as you travel!
Since one third of south korea population is christian, you can expect to see a lot of church and cathedral all over south korea. However, the good news is that even if you are buddhist, you can easily find temple where you can find quiet time praying and connect to God in almost every mountain you hike!
So these are all the best churches in korea you can visit in case you miss to worship and connect to God while you travel or work in south korea. Have you ever visit one of these churches in korea? Which one is your favourite? Let me know in the comment sections below!
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